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Do ONE thing for emergency preparedness

Continuing in the tradition established by SAA and Heritage Preservation, FAIC encourages libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and preservation organizations to set aside May 1 to participate in MayDay. This year, make sure your institution is prepared!

Need inspiration? Explore this page for suggested preparedness activities, press materials, and information about a prize drawing, courtesy of Gaylord Archival!

Congratulations to the 2016 MayDay Prize Winners!

Grand Prize: The Long Island Museum
React Pak™
Staff at the Long Island Museum took the opportunity this May to work on updating their disaster plan. They took inventory of the disaster kits in four of their buildings, and restocked inventory in three of those four buildings.

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Spill Pillow
The Smithsonian Institution Archives took a multi-pronged approach to their MayDay activities: expanding their supply kits by including new materials, working on their strategy to mitigate slow disasters, (like mold) adding details to their emergency plan for their new cold storage collections space, and developing a blog post to spread the word about disaster preparedness (

Wright State University, Special Collections & Archives
Leak Alert and Absorb'N Dry Spill Sponge
Students in an archival preservation course worked with staff in the Special Collections and Archives at Wright State University to conduct a disaster response activity, sharing an account of the exercise in a later blog post 

Handel and Haydn Society
Weatherproof Paper (8.5 x 11)
At the Handel and Haydn Society, MayDay provided the impetus to take steps towards formalizing an emergency plan for their archives. They inventoried their current emergency supplies and made a wish list of needed materials. They likewise began collecting contact information and establishing communication protocols.

Many thanks to Gaylord Archival for their generous support of the MayDay campaign!

Suggested Preparedness Activities

Disaster preparedness doesn’t have to be difficult! You can take simple steps throughout the year toward your goals. Why not start this MayDay? Here are some suggestions:

  • If you have a disaster plan, dust it off and bring it up to date.
  • If you don't have a plan, make a timeline for developing one.
  • Get to know your local firefighters and police. Invite them to tour your institution and give pointers on safety and preparedness. FAIC offers a poster outlining tips for working with emergency responders.
  • Identify the three biggest risks to your collection or building (such as a dust storm, leaking water pipe, heavy snow, or power failure) and outline steps to mitigate them. Use FAIC's tools for risk evaluation.
  • Evaluate your need for a priority contract with a disaster recovery firm.
  • Conduct a building evacuation drill and evaluate the results.
  • Eliminate hazards such as boxes and furniture in hallways, blocked fire exits, or improper storage of paints and solvents.
  • Identify and label priority collections and objects for evacuation during emergencies. Which are most important to your mission, irreplaceable, or most fragile?
  • Register for a free course to learn how your institution fits into existing emergency response protocols. A list is available here. 

Press Materials